Sunday, April 19, 2015

An Evening With Elizabeth.....

It all started at my Christmas tree trimming party when I pulled out a 2009 Elizabeth Spencer Rose. I had been saving it to share with some friends who visited the winery in Napa with me a number of years ago. Since several of us were together that night I thought it the perfect time.

However, it wasn't chilled and we had long since moved past the rose' stage of the night. Instead, we planned for an Elizabeth Spencer tasting after the holidays, with the goal of gathering as many vintages as possible--a grand tasting of sorts.

We began the evening with some bubbly and then dived in to my bottle, the oldest and proof that most roses are meant to drink, not age. As soon as we opened it, I could tell it was past its prime as it smelled like a fortified wine, sweet, nutty but not the kind you really want.

Disappointment that I let that one sit too long, then excitement we had several more bottles to go.

Next up was a 2011 pinot noir rose that was quite pleasant, with good fruit and acidity, however, it lacked the freshness we were expecting. Good thing we saved it from the perils of sitting in the cellar much longer.

The idea was to keep the tasting as close to a vertical possible but since the 2012 was a grenache rose, instead of a pinot noir, we skipped over it briefly. When it finally made the round it was full of raspberry and reminded me of a Necco Wafer Candy.

The 2013 pinot rose was the vintage that really hit the spot with bright acidity and red fruit like strawberry.

Moving right along in the Elizabeth Spencer portfolio, a 2012 Chardonnay was pulled from the ice bucket. While it smelled a touch oaky, it was crisp and tropical, with flavors of pineapple; a favorite for sure.

Up next came the reds and a 2007 Zinfandel. For a zin it was quite mellow; another one that was on its way out. The fruit was still intact but we were gentle with it in the glass, afraid it would disappear with any spirited swirling.

The 2010 Mendocino Cabernet was a beautiful color and a lovely way to end. The wine was a bit chalky, again a bit of that Necco Wafer Candy, with juicy raspberries.

If you are like many of us at this tasting, and have set aside some wine for a special occasion or to share with a special group, do some spring cleaning in your cellar. You might be surprised at what has been tucked away, forgotten about and is now in need of being uncorked. Nothing is worse than having to dump a precious bottle that was soooooo delicious and had so much promise when you bought it--because you let it rest for too long. Cheers. 

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